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Published by Pallavi Singh

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Published by: Pallavi Singh on Jun 25, 2011
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Category: Planning/ Monitoring - Control
Gantt Charts
are useful tools for analyzing and planning complex projects.They:
Help in planning out the tasks that need to be completed
Give a basis for scheduling when these tasks will be carried out
Allow to plan the allocation of resources needed to complete the project,and
Help you to work out the critical path for a project where you mustcomplete it by a particular date.When a project is under way, Gantt Charts help to monitor whether theproject is on schedule.
Gantt charts, project planning, project monitoring
The main objective of a Gantt chart is to assess how long a project shouldtake and to establish the order in which tasks need to be carried out by theending of the project.
Because Gantt charts are simple to understand and easy to construct, theyare used by most project managers for all but the most complex projects. Itcan be applied in project planning and scheduling. Examples of field of application are the design of any complex projects in the healthcare system
(hospital construction, patient’s evidence software implementation)
PERT charts, Critical Path Method
A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart developed as a production control toolin 1917 by Henry L. Gantt, an American engineer and social scientist.Frequently used in project management, a Gantt chart provides a graphical
illustration of a schedule that helps to plan, coordinate, and track specifictasks in a project.Gantt charts are useful tools for planning and scheduling projects. They allowyou to assess how long a project should take, determine the resourcesneeded, and lay out the order in which tasks need to be carried out. They areuseful in managing the dependencies between tasks.When a project is under way, Gantt charts are useful for monitoring itsprogress. You can immediately see what should have been achieved at a pointin time, and can therefore take remedial action to bring the project back oncourse. This can be essential for the successful and profitable implementationof the project.To draw up a Gantt chart, it must follow these steps:
Step 1
- List all activities in the plan
For each task, show the earliest startdate,estimated length of timeit will take, and whether it is parallel orsequential. If tasks are sequential, show which stages they depend on.
Step 2
- Head up graph paper with the days or weeks through to taskcompletion.
Step 3
- Plot the tasks onto the graph paper. Next draw up a rough draft of the Gantt Chart. Plot each task on the graph paper, showing it starting on theearliest possible date. Draw it as a bar, with the length of the bar being thelength of the task. Above the task bars, mark the time taken to completethem.
Step 4
- Schedule activities. Now take the draft Gantt Chart, and use it toschedule actions. Schedule them in such a way that sequential actions arecarried out in the required sequence. Ensure that dependent activities do notstart until the activities they depend on have been completed. Whilescheduling, ensure that you make best use of the resources you haveavailable, and do not over-commit resource.
Step 5
- Presenting the analysis. The final stage in this process is to preparea final version of the Gantt Chart. This should combine the draft analysis (seeabove) with your scheduling and analysis of resources. This chart will showwhen you anticipate that jobs should start and finish.In constructing a Gantt chart, keep the tasks to a manageable number (nomore than 15 or 20) so that the chart fits on a single page. More complexprojects may require subordinate charts which detail the timing of all thesubtasks which make up one of the main tasks. For team projects, it oftenhelps to have an additional column containing numbers or initials whichidentify which one in the team is responsible for that task
. Gantt charts don't indicate task dependencies - you cannot tell how one taskfalling behind schedule affects other tasks. The PERT chart, another popularproject management charting method, is designed to do this.
Gives a clear illustration of project status.
May be adjusted frequently to reflect the actual status of project tasks.
Helps manage the temporal dependencies between tasks.
Gantt chart forces group members to think clearly about what must bedone to accomplish their goal.
Computer software can simplify constructing and updating a chart.
In the following case study is present a Gantt chart (generated with MicrosoftProject) for a hospital construction project.
Activity Description Predecesors
A Select administrative and medical staff. -
B Select site and do site survey. -
C Select equipment. A
D Prepare final construction plans and layout. B
E Bring utilities to the site. B
FInterview applicants and fill positions innursing support staff, maintenance, andsecurity.A
G Purchase and take delivery of equipment. C
H Construct the hospital. D
I Develop an information system. A
J Install the equipment. E, G, H

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